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Is recruiting coverage the answer?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Shifty Squid, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Shifty Squid

    Shifty Squid Member

    I've been told that a major metro paper is in the process of making recruiting news the No. 1 priority for its preps operation. Basically, they're looking to do what Scout and Rivals do, but use their resources to do it bigger and better for the people/players in their area. This will be largely online only.

    What I'm wondering is, what do you guys think about this? There is clearly a group of readers who want this information and have been willing to pay Scout and Rivals for it. Could this be an answer to how to draw people into your Web site, if you have the resources to do it? Or do you think it's a bad idea?

    I tend to think that recruiting coverage is a little salacious by nature, and I think newspapers are going to have to get into the muck, so to speak, if they plan to legitimately compete with the recruiting services. And I wonder if the newspaper might be better-served to give people what they really can't get elsewhere: Great game coverage/features/enterprise stories about area high school sports.

    Any thoughts? If you could do it, would you ramp up your paper's recruiting coverage?
  2. Satchel Pooch

    Satchel Pooch Member

    Yes, six or seven years ago. Too little too late.
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    So some major metro (better be in a major college area) is going to cover the recruitment of maybe a couple dozen top prospects in their area, ignore the thousands of other high school athletes and call it their prep coverage?

    Yeah, that's fucking brilliant.
  4. Shifty Squid

    Shifty Squid Member

    It is an area that's pretty teeming with talent, so it might be more than a couple of dozen. But yeah, you're not that far off. They are going to cover sports as they always have, but recruiting coverage is basically going from a small operation to their No. 1 priority on the preps beat. So traditional sports coverage is bound to suffer some, if from having fewer resources devoted to it if nothing else.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    That's a bad, bad, bad idea. God help the poor bastards answering the phones when the parents of 99.9 percent of the circulation area's high school athletes figure out why Johnny and Susie aren't getting their names in the paper.
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Just what I was getting at, Gee
  7. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    This doesn't make any sense. The kids who are worth their salt get their names in the paper on their appropriate days. If they're going to play Division I football at USC, they'll have plenty of chances. If they're going to play Division III curling at Western State, they will take their sentence and like it.
  8. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    Bad idea for so many reasons:
    1) People are interested in recruiting from the collegiate side, not the high school side. Therefore, the only prospects who will generate interest in this instance are those who are considering local colleges. Are there enough of them to warrant the shift in priorities? Unlikely.
    2) If you're going to do recruiting as described in this example, you'll have to devote more than one person to it And how long before you burn people out?
    3) The outlets that succeed in recruiting coverage are those that are willing to check their journalistic integrity at the door and become de facto recruiters for the colleges they allegedly cover. I hope we're not about to sink to that level in print.
  9. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    What a stupid idea.
  10. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Well-Known Member

    Of course the papers that do this won't hire more staff, but rely on who they already have "to do a little more with a little less." Meanwhile the actual news and game stories will suffer.
  11. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    I've come to the conclusion that fans who are obsessed with recruiting are akin to pedophiles.

    It's just creepy to have 40- and 50-year old guys hanging on every word of a 16-year-old kid, many of whom have no clue what they're going to do tomorrow, let alone a year from now when they can sign a letter.

    I know readers eat it up, but it's just really kind of sickening to me. And that comes from a guy who's covered a high-major hoops team for years.
  12. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Buncha creepy jock-sniffers.

    If you cover or have to be around the shit, you know grown men who read everything about these kids, know their backgrounds, their statistics, where they visit, the whole works. It's sad and disgusting.
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